Discounting their 2014 draft picks and prospective undrafted players, the Pittsburgh Steelers have just 27 players signed past this season.
And six were selected during last year's NFL Draft.
PITTSBURGH -- None of those are among the Steelers specialists, who are all signed for just this season. That includes long-snapper Greg Warren and place-kicker Shaun Suisham, as well as punters Brad Wing and Adam Podlesh, a veteran who was just signed last week. The Steelers also brought in long-snapper Bryce Davis to provide competition for Warren.
Suisham signed a four-year, $6.3 million contract in 2011 with a signing bonus at $1.35 million. He is scheduled to make $1.425 million this year. The 32-year-old Suisham has been extremely consistent with just one bad season during the four that he's been with the Steelers. Suisham has missed just five kicks in the past two years and still has decent distance.
Warren also has been automatic during his nine-year NFL career, all with the Steelers, despite four different holders (punters) last year after training camp began and two during the season. He signed a contract for $920,000 this year. It included a $65,000 signing bonus. Davis makes just $420,000 this year.
Wing, the former LSU punter, also signed a $420,000, one-year contract, while Podlesh -- entering his eighth NFL season -- will make $855,000 this year if he can beat out Wing. But that doesn't appear to be likely, since Podlesh's career is on the downswing, while Wing's could be on the rise.
Players from these three positions -- place-kicker, punter and long-snapper -- generally aren't signed to multi-year contracts. Although Suisham was locked up while he was in his late 20s, but now that he and Warren are double-digit NFL veterans their days could be numbered with the Steelers. But only if replacements can be found, and that day hasn't arrived just yet.
The one knock on Suisham has been a lack of deep kickoffs, but since the yard line has been moved that hasn't been too much of an issue. Still, if Wing can kick off as well, that likely would seal his roster spot and possibly save Suisham's leg for a few more years.